OK, so I've covered two home games at West Point so far this Fall. I'd been thinking about those "in-between" or "daily" assignments I've shot the last few weeks at the United States Military Academy (USMA or WP) that are also so very special to witness and offer my efforts in documenting, and photographing correctly. West Point is one of the premiere engineering schools in this country, and was just recently named as the top college in America by Forbes magazine.
Nothing to be taken lightly at all. Besides being a Division I university for NCAA athletics, it is recognized the world over as the military institution were U.S. Army officers are made. Leadership. Integrity. Esprit de Corps. All buzz words to the mere civilian, but to a former military enlisted man, it's one of the reasons why I sometimes still get chills while working on post. There's just no getting around that. Everything changes when you drive through those gates. The top image made this past Saturday is evidence of that mindset for me.
It was made with a remote camera mounted atop Kimsey Hall in the south end zone of Michie Stadium. I'd mounted one of two remote cameras from that same position last Fall for the Army - Air Force game, so I knew ahead of time approximately how long it'd take, how much gear to bring, and what sort of image of the stadium / playing field view I'd cover with a fish-eye lens. Experience on station. Again, nothing to be taken lightly. Sure the stadium isn't filled at kickoff; as this was only Ball State in town for the game, but that's not what this image is all about anyway. It's proof that I got to the ballpark press parking lot early (around 9:15AM) and was on the roof installing this remote less than an hour later. Besides, the light was going to be good all day, and I wanted to capture some of it in other views besides game action from the field. Since I've always gone about covering games at West Point as if they're pro contests, I begin monitoring the weather reports a day or two ahead of game day. That's import in itself as last week's home opener was cloudy and overcast, actually bordering on a downpour at any moment. So as a photographer working a 3+ hour game on the field, you have to be aware of all those possibilities ahead of time and pack rain / cold or hot weather gear accordingly. It's not like I could run the quarter-mile back uphill to my car to retrieve rain gear. Big step up from the local high school game coverage.
*(this post is still under construction with a slideshow yet to come...)